I was a 23 year Walmart associate.

I was a sporting goods manager when Walmart begin consolidating departments. Besides sporting goods I had been in toys during Christmas time. Well, I did as good as I could but after Christmas they took me out of toys and put me in automotive and sporting goods. After working on that cement floor for almost 20 years I had a bad back and bad knees. One of them I had to have replaced. In automotive, I got stuck hauling pallets of oil, antifreeze, and washer solvent. The worst was car batteries, which I had to load onto a rack after I pulled them to the floor which included lifting them up, sometimes over my head. I am not a tall woman.

I stepped down from automotive and took a position in the front as a cashier which I enjoyed. I love talking to the people in the sporting goods department and as a cashier. I often ran out of bags and I had to walk and get my own bags because no one answered my call for help.

One day I lifted up a box of bags and I actually felt my muscle tearing and severe pain.

My CSM told me to go back on the register till they could fill out papers. I tried to work on the register but I could not do it because of the pain. I called him back and told him I need to go to the doctor now. They put me in as a door greeter until someone could take me to the doctor, the person who took me had to be a female.

I waited until almost the end of my shift, over three hours, until finally she came and followed me to the emergent care place.

When we got to emergency care she discovered that no one had filled out the papers. So she had to drive back to the store and get the paperwork before they would see me.

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I was off for a while because it took me a while to heal. The doctor at one point did not understand the paperwork Sedgewick [Walmart’s system for requesting leaves of absence and short term disability benefits] sent him to fill out, so he filled them out incorrectly. My Sedgewick caseworker said I was supposed to go back to work a month ago when she got the paperwork. I said no, those directions were what my doctor told me I could do to help myself get better. I told her I had not been released for work.

She called me a liar and told me she was going to cancel my claim.

I was worrying about having enough money to live so I decided to take my Social Security early (which by the way costs me a lot of money every month now). I did get the doctor to fix the paperwork and he apologized to me but my Sedgewick caseworker never did.

I eventually did go back to work but Covid started and I did not want to be in that environment so I just decided to retire. I retired after 23 years and nobody said anything to me. No goodbyes, no cake, no nothing.

I am 68 now and I do not think Walmart treats their employees properly. My back and my knees are so bad that I can’t enjoy life without pain involved.

As most associates say, if Sam could see what was going on now he’d be rolling over in his grave. I truly believe that.

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Information posted here has been submitted directly by Walmart associates and was not created or developed by United for Respect. The opinions and statements in these stories are those of the authors.